International Break Power Rankings
Sup haters. The latest installment of my coveted Power Rankings is back and better than ever. But first let’s get an update on my record and a recap of the Can I Kick It Cup…
This Weekend’s Record: 7-3-1
All-Time Record: 98-90-17
The first Can I Kick It Cup occurred over the weekend, with MY Manchester City beating Kulla’s Arsenal by a score of 3-1. The game was always City’s to win, but they didn’t dominate like the scoreline indicated. Without the final goal, which should’ve been disallowed due to David Silva being offside, the game could’ve and most likely would’ve ended in a frantic finish. But City dominated possession with close to 60% and outshot the Gunners 9-6 (reverse nice). I have no clue why Arsene Wenger chooses not to put Lacazette in the starting XI, as he scored just minutes after coming on. But what’s new with Wenger! Hey Kulla, not to say I told you so but… I told you so.
You know the drill… best teams record-wise combined with the teams I think are best regardless of record to formulate the top 10 teams in the world. Top 5 teams earn the best prize of all… a gif.
In The Hunt: Atletico, Roma, Valencia, Monaco
10. Manchester United (Last Week 8)
A loss and a totally unconvincing match away at Chelsea should have me putting this team out of these rankings, but they have too much talent and still sit in 2nd in the Premier League. Mourinho is W0-D3-L4 away against the top 6 in the Premier League, but United still sit perfect in the Champions League and own a 7-2-2 record in the league. With Pogba and other key starters returning, I’m not counting them out for now.
9. Juventus (Last Week 9)
Juventus have no change this week because they neither impressed nor lost this weekend. They went down 1-0 to the worst team in the league this season who haven’t won a game yet, but came back to win 2-1. With Inter Milan drawing over the weekend, they now sit in 2nd in Serie A with a 10-1-1 record and sit 3 points back behind Barca in Group D in the Champions League. Those two giants meet on the 22nd to decide if Juventus can move more in the clear towards qualification, or if Barca can lock up the group officially. More importantly they could rise or fall a few spots on this list depending on the result.
8. Chelsea (Last Week 10)
Chelsea rise two spots this week after their triumphant 1-0 win against Manchester United. Their ascendance comes with its issues though; as manager Antonio Conte sat star defender David Luiz after a feud in training, the owner wants to be more involved in day-to-day oversight and their longtime Technical Director (essentially the director of player personnel or GM) resigned. Their victory comes with blemishes, but if Conte can pull this squad through their Champions League group, limit the injuries and stay in the top 4 in the league at the worst, then their problems will be forgotten about. A clash with Liverpool could be their only blemish for the rest of the month, but if they triumph then they will earn the right to stay in these rankings.
7. Napoli (Last Week 5)
Napoli faltered twice over the last week, losing to Man City at home and drawing at Chievo Verona (who sit in 11th). I hate using the City loss against them, but they got totally outclassed and especially at home, you will drop in the rankings. They play both Milan and Juventus and sandwiched in the middle is a Champions League clash. Those games will be major not only in the rankings and the standings in both the league and Champions League, but could shape their season. They can’t afford to drop points in the league with the 4 teams behind them only being separated by a total of 5 points, and they find themselves in a must-win-out situation in the Champions League.
6. Real Madrid (Last Week 6)
Plain and simple: Real Madrid haven’t looked like themselves this season. Two consecutive losses last week left them in a bad spot, and left many people wondering what was wrong with them. Even though they beat a crappy side in Las Palmas this weekend, they showed once again what they can do and who they have on their team. Their depth is disgusting and once they hit stride they will be just fine. A clash with cross-Madrid rivals Atletico after the International Break will truly prove whether or not Real is back, or if they still are in search of their identity this season.
5. Bayern Munich (Last Week 7)
Bayern had a triumphant away win against rivals Dortmund to remind them who’s boss in Germany this past Saturday (Dortmund falling by the wayside btw). They sit atop the Bundesliga and only trail in the Champions League to PSG, with room beneath them in the group. Yes, maybe they should be higher with 2 wins to Leipzig and 1 to Dortmund this month, but Leipzig got a red card in each game and Dortmund don’t look right. They have a tough away match at Mönchengladbach and a clash with PSG in early December, which will say a lot as to where this team is.
4. Tottenham (Last Week 4)
Spurs have no change this week from last week in the rankings, as they had another home win to Palace. We learned what this team can do last week with a historic win against giants Real Madrid snapping their streak without losses in the group stage in the Champions League. They’re somehow turning the word ‘Spursy’ into a good thing! But Spurs face two massive challenges, one much bigger than the other. The biggest match of their season so far (yes even bigger than Madrid) looms ahead of them. Their bitter (like really bitter, just ask Kulla) rivals Arsenal will host Spurs in the North London Derby which will prove if this team can win in a massive game away this season. Then only a few days after that, they will face a desperate Dortmund team in need of 3 points to keep their little heads above water in the Champions League. Again, time will tell for this team.
3. FC Barcelona (Last Week 3)
Barca come into this week on fire, with Messi playing out of this world. Messi didn’t score or have an assist this week, but still has played every minute in all competitions, scored 15 goals in 15 games with 4 assists, and has still hit the post 15 times. This team sits atop La Liga in Spain with a 10-1-0 record and atop their Champions League group with a 3-1-0 record. They are one of only 3 teams in Europe’s power 5 leagues to yet to lose a game, and they don’t look like they will slow down any time soon. They have big matches ahead of them including a massive Champions League match against Juventus and a tough away match against Valencia who are in a clear 2nd place behind them in the league. I’m excited to see how this team can keep it up, and if Messi can continue his form.
2. Manchester City (Last Week 2)
If it wasn’t for a 5-0 win by PSG over the weekend, City would be in my top spot on this list. They beat Arsenal 3-1 in a big statement win to show that they don’t look like they’re slowing down anytime soon. They become the first English team to win their first 15 matches across all competitions, and are one of the only 3 teams without a loss. Aguero, who just became the club’s all time leading scorer at only 29 years-old, looks to be in great form along with the rest of the attack (De Bruyne, Silva, Sane, Sterling, Jesus). They just don’t seem like they can be stopped, especially already being 8 points clear of rivals United in the Premier League. The title race could be over in early spring.
1. Paris Saint Germain (Last Week 1)
PSG won dominantly 5-0 WITHOUT Neymar over the weekend, again showing people how amazing their attack is. Mbappe had an outstanding outing with 2 goals and 1 assists along with 2 more goals from Cavani. I know they haven’t played anyone besides Bayern, but this team I believe can beat anyone in the world at this moment. The beauty of the Champions League is that we will find out once they play Bayern again and escape the group stage as well as starting playing tougher competition. But they better be careful, as a bad showing against Monaco in a few weeks and Bayern in December could have this team dropping a few spots with City nipping at their heels. Should be amazing to see going forward!
That’s all from my Power Rankings this week as we head into the International Break. I also did a Footy News Roundup (HERE) outlining the recent news in the footy world. Some awesome final Qualifying Playoff matches before we finally decide the field of 32 to the ‘that tournament that’s supposedly/allegedly happening in Russia next summer’. Teams like Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Croatia, Switzerland, Australia and Honduras will all have their fates decided over the next 15 days to see who will make it.
Remember folks, soccer literally doesn’t stop…
Stay Kickin’ It. Peace